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Tips to Convert More Cosmetic Patients (Ep. 206)

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and tips to convert more cosmetic patients.

I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice – What your patients are saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients, more profits and stellar reputations. Now, today’s episode is called “Tips to Convert More Cosmetic Patients”.

Let’s face it. Times have changed. 

It’s way too competitive to be mediocre. It’s also way too costly to attract new patients so you can’t afford to lose them. This is why you need my tips to convert more cosmetic patients.

I know you’re painfully aware of how difficult it’s gotten to convert prospective patients due to the insane amount of competition and information available. This is why you need my tips to convert more cosmetic patients.

This creates confusion and fickle prospective patients who know if
they don’t like their experience with you, they can always call one of your many competitors. This is why you need my tips to convert more cosmetic patients.

However, this is actually an opportunity for you to step up and be better than your competitors, so they choose you.

But here’s the harsh reality…

It’s not enough to have a gorgeous expensive website do all the heavy lifting for you.

It’s also not enough to automate everything (even though that would be great). Chatboxes, Auto-responders, follow up funnels and artificial intelligence are helpful, for sure, but they have their own limitations.

Remember you are in the people business. People with credit cards who want to look good and feel great. People with emotions such as skepticism, fear, hope, trust or distrust.

These people who are using their own disposable income want customer service. They want to feel heard and significant. They want to know you care.

Chatboxes and autoresponders do not give them those warm, fuzzy feelings. People do.

So, in this podcast, I’m going to show you how to convert more cosmetic patients without spending more on advertising or hiring more staff or adding more technology.

⬇️ Click below to hear “Tips to Convert More Cosmetic Patients”

Problem

Let’s first start with this question….

If you were to listen in on new caller leads your receptionist was handling, would you smile with satisfaction listening to her professionally credential you and book the consultation or….would you cringe hearing her lose the callers and hurt your image all at the same time?

When you ask your receptionist about it, don’t they often say the callers were just price shoppers and weren’t serious about moving forward?

And, Does  this sound familiar:

You do a string of consultations that you “thought” went well.

The prospective patients you met with were engaged and interacting with you.

You were sure many of them would book.

However, when you ask your coordinator how the consultations went, she tells you:

  • “Oh, they had to think about.”
  • “They were going on other consults.”
  • “They had to check their schedule.”
  • “They have to save up.”

So now you’re either questioning yourself or your staff or the patients.

Is it something you said or did?

Is it something your staff said or did?

Are patients today ridiculous and you’re ready to throw in the towel?

It’s so deflating putting in so much time and effort, only to NOT get the result you expected.

So now you decide to either spent even more on advertising to get more leads or you fire your staff or you do nothing and hope next month is better.

Instead, here are some insights that should help:

Agitate

I have trained hundreds of receptionists and coordinators from around the world and here’s what I know for sure:

Every practice has money-losing holes in their practice bucket (some practices have more than others) and the most common are disappointing conversion rates.

And, even the most seasoned staff could use improvement. Actually, the seasoned staff has been around for the good times, when it was a lot easier to convert callers and consults so they may have trouble adjusting to this increasingly competitive landscape where they need to learn new skills and strategies to keep up.

Frankly, too often the staff is winging it. They just say whatever comes to mind and that leads to them talking too much and confusing the patient and a confused patient is a no so that’s not a good approach.

Because it’s astonishing to discover the reality of lost revenues leaking out of your practice that add up big time.

For example, if your receptionist loses 1 caller per day that was worth $2K and you multiply that by 5 days per week and 50 weeks per year, that’s a whopping $500K per year and let’s say you see:  12 consults per week:

  • 40% Close Rate = 5 Booked Procedures
  • X 50 weeks per year @ $8K Average Procedure = $2MM

This sound good UNTIL you do the math on the other 60% who did NOT book.

That number of lost revenues is $2,800,000! Yikes!

This is unnecessary and also easy to remedy.

Here is The #1 Tip to Convert More Callers

Prepare your staff to answer the caller’s question, “How much is it?”

So often, callers have only one question when they call your office and that is…

How much is it?

Oftentimes, you don’t tell them. Your receptionist says, “the surgeon must examine you first” and then you’ll get a quote.

That used to work before, but in today’ world with so much information available, that can feel evasive or defensive to the caller so they end the call.

Or, you tell them the price and they hang up, never to be heard from again.

Here’s a better approach….

The reason they are asking about price is because they are not considering anything else but price.

They have commoditized your services and “assume” they can get the same service and result no matter who they choose.

But maybe in the past, when they had chosen a cheaper alternative, they were dissatisfied because they had to wait, the staff was rude, it was painful, nobody seemed to care,
they were underwhelmed with their result and their experience.  

So, it’s vital you educate callers what else they should consider that goes into it than just price BECAUSE they don’t know….until you tell them.

Prepare your staff to “Pre-Frame Before Price” by bragging about you and the practice BEFORE stating the price. Now the caller has more to consider than one price variable. For example,

  • You’ve performed more than 4,500 surgical procedures
  • You have a no wait policy
  • You offer pain free treatments and/or
  • 1st time callers get a special gift card or goody bag

If you have trouble coming up with your brag points, think of all the complaints you get, fix them and they become your bragging points to tell the caller.

And, here’s The #1 Tip to Convert More Consultations..

Set your coordinator up to be seen as “The Aesthetic Advisor” and NOT “The Closer”

When you buy a car at the dealership, you are often sent to an office to meet with “The Closer” to talk about the numbers and the terms.

It can be stressful because the negotiator may be pressuring you to add on tinted windows, leather seats, etc.

This is NOT a fun experience and can leave you feeling victimized, or you may just leave because you are uncomfortable with the set up.

The same happens in a typical plastic surgery consultation. The patient meets with the doctor and then is sent to “The Closer”, otherwise known as your patient coordinator, to discuss fees and dates.

The prospective patient has never met or talked to the coordinator; yet, they are expected to review the quote, agree to the terms and put down a deposit….all is a matter of minutes.

This is not a comfortable experience for either the patients or the coordinator. That’s why the patient so often says, “I have to think about it” or “I have to talk my husband.

A better approach is to set up a process so the patient and coordinator converse ahead of time so they have a chance to bond BEFORE meeting face-to-face.

You do that by sending a personalized welcome letter from the coordinator, then she calls to introduce herself and then sends text reminders using her name.

These several points of contact help the patient and coordinator bond ahead of time and that makes it a much more comfortable and effective consultation that actually books!

The Offer

If this has helped you see how nuances make all the difference in converting callers and consultations, you’ll want to check out The Phone Club for Receptionists and The Converting Club for Coordinators at www.catherinemaley.com for a lot more strategies to transform your coordinator into a confident coordinator who converts 30-50% more consults professionally and your front desk staff will convert up to 30% more callers within 48 hours using proven scripts and strategies.

Go to catherinemaley.com for details.

That wraps it up for this beauty and biz podcast.

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Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.

BEAUTY AND THE BIZ

Beauty and the Biz is for Plastic Surgeons who know they don’t know everything and are open to discovering the pearls to grow and scale a sellable asset when they’re ready to exit.

Listen in as Catherine interviews surgeons who talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and listen to Catherine’s pearls from consulting with plastic surgeons since Year 2000.

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